Does each question carry same weightage in revised GRE exam ?


weightage of questions in GRE

Yes, according to Educational Testing Service, all the questions on the revised GRE test carry equal weightage. Text completion questions that require you to choose three blanks per question are marked the same as simple sentence equivalence questions in which you have to choose only two answers.

If every question is weighted the same and the scores are in the range of 130-170 with 1 point increment, why did a student who answered 20 right questions scored higher than the student who answered 22 questions right?

That is because GRE is a computer adaptive test and the scaled scored are calculated according to the difficulty level of the questions. I hope the explanations will help you solve the mystery around revised GRE score (and when you have figured it out all, please let us know too).

Computer Adaptive Test

In the revised GRE, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning are divided into two sections each. The test is adaptive between the sections, which means your performance in the first section of verbal reasoning (VR) will determine the difficulty level of the questions in the next section.

This means that if you answer the most of the questions correctly in the first section of VR, the questions in the second section of VR would be relatively difficult. If you fail to answer most of the questions in the first section, the questions in the next would be easier. The questions in the first section are medium-level so that the test can gauge your level of preparation and ‘adapt’ the next section accordingly.

Similarly, your performance in the first section of quantitative reasoning (QR) will determine the difficulty level of the questions in the next section.

Equating the Raw scores to Scaled Scores

While you’re answering the questions, the computer is calculating your raw score – for this raw score, all the questions have equal weightage. The raw score is then converted into the scaled score through the process of equating.

The scaled score takes into account your performance – the number of easy questions you answered, the number of difficult questions answered/attempted, the number of questions not attempted etc.  It is here that the unexpected shifts in GRE score and percentile occur.

For instance, if you answer only six questions correctly in the first section of GRE Verbal Reasoning and 75% correct answers in the second section. You must be expecting a high score because you think you performed well in the second section of verbal. However, the score and percentile in verbal reasoning may not match your expectations. This happened because GRE test is adaptive and gave you easier set of questions in the second section.  Easy questions do affect your overall performance, especially percentile.